Success Stories

Prodigy Search prides itself on exceeding expectations and over-delivering with every executive recruitment search project we engage in. A sample of our recent success stories include:

Boston Bruins/TD Garden
Vice President, Business Strategy

NEED: Delaware North is one of the world’s preeminent venue, entertainment, and hospitality services companies. The organization is one the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 60,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Their Boston arm owns and operates TD Garden and the NHL’s Boston Bruins. As a group that values forward-thinking and always has an eye on the “next” idea, Delaware North needed an individual to head a strategic team focusing on business intelligence, business solutions, and digital marketing. This person had to be able to provide business intelligence and strategic direction for fan and client marketing and analysis, retention and sales strategy, retail, ecommerce, parking, market research, CRM and sales planning. Delaware North needed a dynamic individual capable of developing critical insights and then leading the capitalization efforts based on that information.

RESULT: Delaware North and Prodigy Search were able to build upon a successful years-long relationship based on mutual respect, both professional and personal. The Vice President of Business Strategy was a unique position that called for experience beyond professional sports. Prodigy Search conducted a nationwide search, sourcing candidates in multiple industries, developing a deep candidate pool of well-qualified individuals. Through this process, Samia Mahjub emerged as the person to fill the role. She has Boston roots as she received both her bachelors and master’s degrees at MIT and was a member of the Varsity Women’s Basketball team. The former Vice President, Business Analytics & Strategy for the Milwaukee Brewers and former Director of Global Basketball Strategy for Adidas has a sharp acumen for business strategy and innovation and has hit the ground running in 2022.

USA Lacrosse
Chief Executive Officer

NEED: USA Lacrosse is a member and donor-driven nonprofit organization and the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse in the United States. Having been led by former CEO Steve Stenersen since its inception in 1998, the National Governing Body sought a new leader when he announced his retirement in 2021. With more than 425,000 members nationwide, 200+ staff and volunteers as well as over 7,000 annual donors, USA Lacrosse understood the need to bring someone who could provide visionary and operational leadership for the organization, while working with the Board of Directors and the senior management team to develop and execute the mission and strategic plan. In order to reach this goal, USA Lacrosse identified Prodigy Search as their executive recruitment partner to conduct a nationwide search for their newest CEO.

RESULT: It was quickly evident this position represented an extraordinary opportunity that elicited high interest from potential candidates nationwide. Although the final candidate did not need to be a current or former lacrosse player, or have history in the sport, it was important that he or she embodied what USA Lacrosse has built and could execute their vision, leading the National Governing Body into the future. Ultimately, Marc Riccio, a C-level sports executive with a prior career history at the New York Jets and Lagardere Sports, was selected after a nationwide search was collaboratively executed by the USA Lacrosse Board of Directors and Prodigy Search. “We set out to identify a leader who was an innovator and a connector, a critical thinker and a strategist, someone with integrity and deep passion for the mission of USA Lacrosse. We found that leader in Marc,” said Beth Lyman, chair of the USA Lacrosse Board of Directors. “A seasoned sports and media executive with a proven track record of revenue growth, we have every confidence Marc will lead the organization and game to new heights.”

USA Team Handball
Chief Executive Officer

NEED: USA Team Handball (USATH), the National Governing Body for the Olympic discipline of Team Handball, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. USA Team Handball was seeking a new Chief Executive Officer to develop and grow team handball at all levels domestically, and to enable U.S. athletes for competitive excellence to win medals in international and Olympic competition. The need existed for a diverse range of backgrounds including handball experience, USOPC experience, board relations and a strong business acumen. Given the timing of the need taking place in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirements of remote management but also creative fundraising were key in their new hire; ultimately, securing future stability for the National Governing Body.

RESULT: Throughout the nationwide C-level search, Prodigy Search worked closely with Michael Wall, USA Team Handball President and Chair, as well as the collective Board of Directors and other key stakeholders of the NGB. The new Chief Executive Officer joined USATH with a committed Board of Directors and staff ready to take the sport to the next level in the US. Ryan Johnson, formerly of USA Wrestling, became USATH’s newest CEO. Johnson joined USATH with over a decade of experience in sales, marketing, and nonprofit/NGB management. Being that USATH exists fully within the worlds of both sport and nonprofit, leveraging this dual mission to maximize their impact and efficiency was critical in ensuring a productive outcome as the organization continues to grow the sport in the United States.

Players Health
President of Player Safety

NEED: Founded in 2016, CEO Tyrre Burks started Players Health as a comprehensive risk management platform for youth sports organizations ensuring a safer environment for all athletes. After receiving additional funding and due to the continued growth at the company, Burks contacted Prodigy Search in March 2021 to conduct a national search for Players Health’s President of Athlete Safety division, a newly created position. This senior executive role would be tasked with the build out of a framework necessary to ensure safe environments for all as Players Health believes there’s no place for hazing or bullying within sports, and this hire was one of the necessary steps to rid abuse from youth sports. While Players Health is a risk services and insurance platform, their mission is to create the safest possible environment for athletes to develop and achieve their dreams and this placement was to be someone with like-minded vision and passion to execute. For more information on Players Health, visit www.playershealth.com

RESULT: In conjunction with Burks, Prodigy Search worked to fully understand the role, culture, and goals of Players Health as an organization and more specifically, the Athlete Safety division within the organization. In order to deliver a diverse list of candidates in non-risk management and insurance fields, Prodigy Search successfully educated themselves on the insurance and risk management industry, and the specific short and long-term vision Burks had for Players Health. Utilizing their extensive network, Prodigy Search ultimately identified Rich Abend, a 20-year sports, media, health and fitness, and wellness executive. Abend has an expertise in software sales and B2B development in the youth sports technology market. In just six months at Players Health, Abend has already received a promotion as part of a recent strategic restructure.  He now serves as Chief Revenue Officer & Head of Risk Products. Players Health’s expectations were met and exceeded through Prodigy Search’s knowledge of senior-level recruiting strategies and their diverse network and candidate database.